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Old 11-09-2007, 01:46 AM   #1
malkore
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Default Harvesting yeast, then making starters...need a lil feedback

Here's the scenario:

made a kolsch with Wyeast 2565...no mystery there.
after racking to secondary, I added about 1/2 gallon of sanitary water to the fermenter, swirled, then poured into a growler and chilled 20 mins.
ended up washing twice, and collecting four jars (pint size Mason jars), with maybe 3/4" yeast in the bottom.

the question arises...is that enough yeast in a single jar to do another batch, assuming I made a half gallon starter two days in advance? (assuming its not a big beer).

I wasn't sure so I used two jars in my starter tonight. for the record I'm gonna brew a Mocktoberfest on Saturday in the afternoon. the kolsch yeast is clean and cooler fermenting.

thanks in advance for your thoughts. and sorry if the above seems disjointed...the wife and I killed a bottle of wine tonite

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Old 11-09-2007, 02:02 AM   #2
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This is a tough point for me to figure out too. I have tried the "repitching from slurry" on Jmail's pitching rate calculator (http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html) but again...it is tough to guess how thick your slurry is. I usually use about 60ml in a liter starter.

What you said you used, I would have probably done but in a starter half that size. I think that will be fine though.

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Old 11-09-2007, 02:49 AM   #3
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IMO 3/4" in a mason jar is probably enough to make starters for 10 batches.

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Old 11-09-2007, 02:53 AM   #4
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Yeah, I was trying to eyeball it based on how much yeast you see in a White Labs vial.

Oh well, if I get 4 batches from one smack pack, that makes it worthwhile.

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Old 11-09-2007, 12:39 PM   #5
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I tried yeast washing for the first time recently.
About 4 weeks ago I washed/harvested and ended up with 4 pint jars each with about 1/4 inch of settled ale yeast.
Instead of a starter, I took one of the jars out of the fridge and let it get up to room temp, poured off the top liquid leaving about 1/2 of yeast and water. I swirled this up and poured it into the fermenter.
8 hours later I had no noticable action in the fermenter, so I pulled out another pint jar and again poured off most of the liquid, an hour later I added an inch of the wort and swirled, and hour later I added another inch and swirled. By this time there appeared to be some krausen forming (but who knows maybe it was just foam from the swirling).

Another hour later I topped off the pint jar with more wort, swirled again, and waited another hour before dumping the full pint into the fermenter. Several hours later I was seeing good activity in the feremnter, and the next day it was going strong.

Now, I don't know if the first pitch worked or not, or if it was slowly building up while I made the second pitch. But in the end, one or both did the job, even though there was some lengthy delay.

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Old 11-09-2007, 12:46 PM   #6
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Well this morning I have pretty serious activity in the starter, and about 1" of krausen.

I did also pour off as much of the water in the two jars before pitching. Next time I'll be less paranoid and do just 1 jar's worth.

cheers!

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Old 11-09-2007, 02:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinison_fan
I tried yeast washing for the first time recently.
About 4 weeks ago I washed/harvested and ended up with 4 pint jars each with about 1/4 inch of settled ale yeast.
Instead of a starter, I took one of the jars out of the fridge and let it get up to room temp, poured off the top liquid leaving about 1/2 of yeast and water. I swirled this up and poured it into the fermenter.
8 hours later I had no noticable action in the fermenter, so I pulled out another pint jar and again poured off most of the liquid, an hour later I added an inch of the wort and swirled, and hour later I added another inch and swirled. By this time there appeared to be some krausen forming (but who knows maybe it was just foam from the swirling).

Another hour later I topped off the pint jar with more wort, swirled again, and waited another hour before dumping the full pint into the fermenter. Several hours later I was seeing good activity in the feremnter, and the next day it was going strong.

Now, I don't know if the first pitch worked or not, or if it was slowly building up while I made the second pitch. But in the end, one or both did the job, even though there was some lengthy delay.
This is a prime example of WHY you should make a starter...reducing your lag time down to a few hours...many in under 3 hours...

Chances are...your yeast needed to warm up to the temp of the wort. They go dormant when they're cold...same as you and I...
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:30 PM   #8
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i've been thinking about this one a lot, too. I'm on my second attempt at making starters and saving yeast. First starter worked well, second starter started fermenting yesterday from a smack pack. I have a bunch of yeast in the fridge that I plan on using and would like to learn how to maintain. It's a full grolsch bottle (however much volume that is, 20 oz?) and I'm planning on using just a little bit (like the volume of a WL vial) and seeing what happens over a few days on some DME wort. It still seems to me you can generate a ton of yeast to pitch while active from just a small bit of starter stock. But, I don't know about these things...........yet.

mm

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Old 11-10-2007, 01:38 AM   #9
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The time it takes for a starter or a brew to start fermenting from washed yeast will vary on how long the yeast has been sitting since the last ferment. They have gone all sleepy and will take a little bit of time to wake up.

I did a Wit with washed yeast a few months ago. Same amount of yeast in a pint jar as has been mentioned above. The yeast was about 2 months old. I made a starter and it took about 3 days to get started. When it did, the starter needed a blow off tube. When I pitched the starter into the wort, I had major blow off two days later. Beer turned out great.

Don't stress about the yeast. They live a lot longer than you think, but may need a little longer to wake up if they have been hangin' out in the fridge.

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